Acts 1:1-11 (NIV)
In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach 2until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. 3After
his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing
proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty
days and spoke about the kingdom of God. 4On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit."
6Then they gathered around him and asked him, "Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?"
7He said to them: "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8But
you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will
be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the
ends of the earth."
9After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.
10They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11"Men
of Galilee," they said, "why do you stand here looking into the sky?
This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back
in the same way you have seen him go into heaven."
Empowered Beyond Ourselves
Risen Jesus gives his followers a powerful mission. He's leaving and
giving us the responsibility to carry out his mission on Planet Earth. That's Plan A. There is no Plan B.
how can you and I possibly carry out the mission of being his witnesses
to the ends of the earth? The handful full of followers here gathered
for his ascension may have wondered the same thing.
secret to our success will be the Holy Spirit himself. It's true that
Jesus left. But he didn't leave us alone. He sent his very own Spirit
to indwell us, guide us, and empower us.
Jesus says it twice:
"in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit."
will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be
my witnesseses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the
ends of the earth."
will receive power. That's what we need! On our own, we have nowhere
near the power to pull off this mission. All the training, knowledge,
willpower, and good intentions will not win the day.
But the power of God himself in his Holy Spirit can do it.
do you want to see the world changed? If yes, then ask God to fill you
afresh with his Holy Spirit. He will empower you far beyond your own
You will be his witness and you will make a difference.